“Tebow Pop Pass” joins legend of “Hungry Pig Right”

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — “Tebow Pop Pass” may not carry the same cachet as “Hungry Pig Right,” but the beauty remains in the eye of the beholder, and Chiefs fans saw a lot of beauty in defensive tackle Dontari Poe’s jump pass touchdown throw to tight end tight end Demetrius Harris finishing off the Denver Broncos 33-10 at Arrowhead Stadium on Christmas night.

Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Dontari Poe (92) celebrates with wide receiver Chris Conley (17) after throwing a touchdown pass against the Denver Broncos in the team's 33-10 win Dec. 25, 2016. (Photo by Mike Gunnoe/The Topeka-Capital Journal)

Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Dontari Poe (92) celebrates with wide receiver Chris Conley (17) after throwing a touchdown pass against the Denver Broncos in the team’s 33-10 win Dec. 25, 2016. (Photo by Mike Gunnoe/The Topeka-Capital Journal)

Just like “Hungry Pig Right,” the screen pass to Poe that led to a touchdown in week six at Oakland, “Tebow Pop Pass” has been long in the making.

“We’ve been practicing having that play in our back pocket for a long time,” Harris said. “We just had the perfect time to call it.”

The anticipation started when Charcandrick West lost 2 yards on first down to the Broncos 3-yard line just before the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter. Poe headed on to the field along with offensive lineman Jah Reid and Bryan Witzmann. But after the two-minute warning, the standard offensive personnel went back on the field.

Poe remained near coach Andy Reid on the sideline.

“I was kind of egging coach Reid on, kind of nudging him a little bit to call it,” Poe said.

After West picked up a yard on second down, the Poe Heavy personnel package went back on the field. Poe lined up in the Wildcat formation and took the direct snap.

“The fans started cheering for me, and he listened,” Poe said.

The big defensive tackle lumbered toward the line of scrimmage, seemingly looking to bull his way into the end zone. But Poe jumped suddenly, at least as suddenly as a 346-pound defensive tackle can jump. Instead of hurtling toward the goal line, Poe shoved the ball through the air toward tight end Demetrius Harris.

“It was Memphis to Little Rock,” Harris said, alluding to their hometowns.

Harris cradled the ball like a newborn baby for a touchdown. Poe said he had total confidence Harris would haul in the throw.

“The last couple of weeks in practice,” Poe explained, “I’ve just been throwing it anywhere and he was going to get it from every place that I threw it, so I was confident he was going to snag that one too.”

Harris celebrated the touchdown by pretending to putt a golf ball, using the football as a putter. Harris mimicked Tiger Woods taking a stroke, stalking the putt and fist pumping a successful shot. The display earned a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.

“I’ve golfed a couple of times,” Harris said. “I just had to bring Tiger Woods out.”

Poe learned the inspiration for the celebration after the game.

“I didn’t know that, but I know it looked cool,” Poe said.

Reid called the throw “a little bloated (Tim) Tebow pass.” Quarterback Alex Smith passed on criticism of Poe’s throwing technique.

“One-for-one and a touchdown, I don’t think I can critique much,” Smith said with a smile. “I can’t say anything. Looked good to me.”

Poe became the first defensive player to record a touchdown pass since 1981, and he now owns three offensive touchdowns with two rushes for scores.

Asked to choose between “Hungry Pig Right” and “Tebow Pop Pass,” Poe looked like a proud father trying to choose between two children.

“I love them both to be honest with you,” Poe said. “I’ll just leave it like that.”

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Matt Derrick is the lead beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com and the Topeka Capital-Journal. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @MattDerrick.


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